Gram Negative Coccobacilli
A sputum sample was brought to the lab for analysis. Gram stain revealed: rare epithelial cells, 8 to 10 polymorphonuclear leukocytes per HPF, and pleomorphic gram-negative rods. Which of the following interpretations should you make?
|A||The appearance of the sputum is suggestive of H. influenzae|
|B||The patient has pneumococcal pneumonia|
|C||The patient has Vincent’s disease|
|D||The sputum specimen is too contaminated by saliva to be useful|
a. Many sputum specimens are cultured unnecessarily. Sputum is often contaminated with saliva or is almost totally made up of saliva.
b. These specimens rarely reveal the cause of the patient’s respiratory problem and may provide laboratory information that is harmful.
c. The sputum in the question appears to be a good specimen because there are few epithelial cells, The pleomorphic, gram-negative rods are suggestive of Haemophilus, but culture of the secretions is necessary.
Normal flora from a healthy oral cavity consists of gram-positive cocci and rods, with few or no PMNs.